Local cultural agencies in nine communities across Wisconsin will engage local artists to design and complete cultural and creative projects, in an initiative announced today at the beginning of National Arts and Humanities Month.

The We’re All In Creative Workforce Program, supported by WEDC along with other funding sources, aims to employ creative workers who have lost employment opportunities due to the pandemic.

Participating communities and organizations include:

  • Ashland and Bayfield Counties – Chequamegon Bay Arts Council
  • Eau Claire – Eau Claire Public Arts Committee and Pablo Center for the Arts
  • Green Bay – Mosaic Arts Inc.
  • La Crosse – Pump House Regional Arts Center
  • Madison –  Madison Arts Commission
  • Milwaukee – Imagine MKE
  • Portage County – CREATE Portage County
  • Rhinelander  – Artstart Rhinelander
  • Viroqua – Viroqua Chamber Main Street

In each case, a local cultural agency is producing a cultural or creative project that advances the community and highlights civic pride, creativity, safety, connection and access for all. Each place is focusing on a specific theme that is relevant and meaningful to that community and its people, in a variety of art and performance mediums. Artists and performers have been chosen by the host organization, with a focus on employing creative workers who have lost contracts and work because of the pandemic. The program capitalizes on the artistry and entrepreneurship of the state’s currently under-employed creative workers to aid in the recovery, unity and healing of Wisconsin’s economy and communities, large and small.

The series of events kicks off Oct. 2 with a live performance in Washburn by the Garland City Consort.

“We greatly appreciate WEDC’s support and investment in Wisconsin’s creative industries and workers through this program,” said Melinda Childs, president of the Board of Directors of Arts Wisconsin. “Before the pandemic, the creative sector provided a $10.1 million economic impact for Wisconsin and a workforce of over 96,000 people. That’s more jobs than the state’s beer, biotech and papermaking industries. We’re glad to be partnering with WEDC to put people back to work.”

“WEDC is pleased to support this initiative because local public art and arts experiences are key to creating a sense of place in a community,” said WEDC Secretary and CEO Missy Hughes. “It’s equally important to remember that many artists and performers are also small business owners or independent contractors who are facing the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. WEDC is committed to both strengthening our Wisconsin communities and helping small businesses thrive.”

Learn more on the Arts Wisconsin website.